Letter from the Editors

By Lee, Kristine; Mitchell, Michael | Harvard International Review, Summer 2013 | Go to article overview

Letter from the Editors


Lee, Kristine, Mitchell, Michael, Harvard International Review


When the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, it set forth an international standard for what is owed to each and every human being, irrespective of race, class, gender, creed, or any other distinction. In the wake of the world's worst war and under the shadow of the most egregious transgressions of human dignity ever preptrated, the global community crafted the Declaration to affirm the Fundamental worth of all people and to ensure that each would be accorded her due. These were ambitious goals. How were they to be achieved? In the words of the Declaration, "by teaching and education." In this issue, we examine education's eternal values and its evolving forms.

We begin by taking up two of the greatest challenges confronting global efforts to achieve universal education: rectifying the gender gap and addressing brain drain. Ahmed Younis provides a detailed examination of the state of women's education--and, relatedly, women's rights--in the Arab world. He contends that although the Arab Spring held out the promise of new, progressive policies towards women, the rise of Islamist governments has hindered such advances. Edward Carrington places the familiar but often misunderstood concept of brain-drain in its proper context.

Two case studies illuminate the challenges facing educators in the developing world and the creative approaches being tested to meet them. Elizabeth Ross explores how a thriving initiative to improve and expand education in Uganda advanced its mission while supporting conservation and strengthening local communities. Later, Allison Anderson and Mary Mendenhall examine the development of an emergency education program at the University of Nairobi that equips aspiring teachers to address the special difficulties facing communities drained by conflict, disease, and resource scarcity. …

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